“Hey Grandpa, what’s for supper?”
The cry offstage was directed at Grandpa Jones during Hee Haw, a homespun – and often surreal – country music variety show that aired on television from 1969 to 1993. It featured corn ball humor, a star-studded cast, a crop of young women in very short shorts and a continuing stream of the best music by Nashville’s most famous.
The supper question was a regular feature of the show, and Jones had a poetic response to the question about all the fine, home-cooking (like rhubarb, collard greens and such) that would be served, to which the audience would respond with, “Yum, yum!”
Over in the Ozark town of Mountain View, from 1980 through the early 1990s, Grandpa Jones dished up food regularly, usually roast beef, cornbread, white beans, greens with cakes made by his wife and performing partner, Ramona. He and Ramona established Grandpa Jones Family Dinner Theatre, a happy place where visitors could hear music performed by the family, Grandpa Jones included, while dining.
Grandpa Jones’ decision to relocate from the hamlet of Goodlettsville outside of Nashville, Tennessee, to the Ozarks, however, was anything but a happy story.